Killer Nashville 2018 Silver Falchion Nominee

Daughters of Bad Men by Laura Oles / Review by Danny Lindsey

By Laura Oles

Red Adept Publishing
ISBN 978-0615816319
Publication Date:  November 14, 2017


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Review by Danny Lindsey

In Daughters of Bad Men (Red Adept Publishing, 2017) photojournalist, Laura Oles draws from a blend of the familiar and the unique in crafting a whodunit that keeps the reader reading non-stop.

Who would think that the daughter of a con-man would leave the con-world behind and jump to the other side of the law? And who would think that her half-brother, himself a con-man, would use his own daughter in the life? Jamie Rush is a small town private eye in Port Alene, Texas, content (mostly) to work divorce cases, trace deadbeat dads, and perform other skip tracing jobs. She makes a modest living and enjoys, for the first time in her life, actually staying put longer than just to the end of the con.

When her niece disappears and her half-brother asks Jamie for help finding her, she knew at once that something was wrong. He shifted from lie-to-lie-to-partial-truth, in turn shifting her reaction from concern-to-worry-to-even stronger feelings. The path to finding her niece immediately involved Jamie with rival gangs, bookies, wealthy patrons and their confused interrelationships. There is no shortage of either intrigue or danger.

Daughters of Bad Men also exposes a portion of society that is continuously simmering, just below the surface and out of sight. Blood feuds, rival bar owners, and family rifts all appear to a greater or lesser extent. The thing is, they are all portrayed as they are, and do not require the reader to stretch the imagination to realize that even in a small town there is often more (or less) than meets the eye.

For her first foray into full-length fiction, Laura Oles has demonstrated that her fictional eye is every bit as accurate as her camera lens. Well deserving of earning a place as a Killer Nashville Claymore Award finalist, Daughters of Bad Men is a solid tale, well told, and a promise of more to come from Jamie Rush. I’ll be waiting for the next one.

Danny Lindsey keeps trying to retire. After a 20-year Army career and a 25-year second one in the private sector, he’s finally settled down. His current gig is as the Veteran Employment Services Manager for a Huntsville, A.L.  based non-profit, Still Serving Veterans. Both full careers were characterized by numerous writing assignments, from war plans to operating policies and procedures, then on to white papers, analyses of alternatives and competitive contract and grant proposals. Now his writing consists of blogs for the website, podcasts for the local NPR affiliate, and a half dozen Pulitzer-worthy, albeit unpublished novels.

Update:  Danny won the 2017 Killer Nashville Claymore Award with his manuscript Serial Justice –  so he will not be unpublished for long!